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BarbaraN
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Hobbit Movie

As time goes on, we will be hearing more about the new Hobbit Movies. I'll set up this thread so we will have a place to put our comments about it. Here are some links to websites that seem to be tracking its progress:

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/category/hobbit/hobbit-movie/

http://derhobbit-film.de/indexengl.shtml

As far as I can tell the very tentative movie date for Part 1 is December 2010 and Part 2 December 2011, but who knows at this point.

I'm not sure but it looks like the first movie will be based on the book, The Hobbit, and the second on various sources that bridge the interval between the time of the Hobbit and the start of LOTR. Since this is to be a Peter Jackson enterprise (but apparently he is not directing--at least the first one) and the second film story line composite is of his own invention, the whole series, Hobbits 1 & 2 and LOTR (1,2,& 3) will probably turn out to be one long seamless movie when it comes out on extended DVDs!
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BarbaraN
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Re: Hobbit Movie

I'm shifting our Hobbit Movie thread to the top with some comments by fans. Our two links above should help keep you up-to-date on what is taking place in the Hobbit movie situation.

http://forum.thehobbit-movie.com/viewtopic.php?t=124
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BarbaraN
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Re: Hobbit Movie

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JesseBC
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Re: Hobbit Movie

Here's some information on the pending lawsuit which may threaten production of The Hobbit film. Tolkien's family is suing with a claim that they weren't sufficiently compensated for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings adaptation. http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,2255898,00.html http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article3354936.ece These articles don't contain a lot of detail about the lawsuit, which I imagine will rest on the finer points of contract and copyright law. But I'm of two minds about the general principle of the thing. On the one hand, most writers are virtual slaves to the publishing and film and broadcast industries. There's a small handful of writers who make it big, but most are toiling for peanuts. At least in the US, copyright law protects the publishing and production companies -- not the artists (and, by extension, their families). But, on the other hand, something like Lord of the Rings has become so much a part of our culture that I think, in a sense, it belongs to all of us. Lawrence Lessig has written prolifically on the extent to which jealously guarded copyright damages our shared artistic inheritance, limits future creative endeavors, while not really protecting the interests of the artists anyway. The legal issues may or may not be fairly cut-and-dried, but the principles behind it are a lot stickier.
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: Hobbit Movie

I think perhaps one of the most important things to bear in mind in all this it that it seems that Mr.Tolkien himself stipulated the formation of this Trust, when he signed off on releasing the rights to the book - and he may have even done so with the understanding that 7.5% ( I think it was ) of the resulting profits were to go to this Trust ... ( and that his wishes should still be respected, even if he is no longer with us ) ---
I was always a little afraid that Middle-earth might someday becomed "owned" by some huge corporation like Disney and turned into just another big money making "Franchise" ---
New Line Cinema did an admirable job with translating the books into movie form -
but it would seem like it's past time for the company's management to "pay their dues" to the creator of these stories, who was generous enough to share with the world the figments of his imagination,
which have given joy to so many people ( and without any realization, on his part, that his creation might someday become a billion-dollar business ) and without whom, the movie company would never have been enjoying their billions of dollars to begin with.
 
Ardo Whortleberry
Tolkien Reader 
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

Ardo Whortleberry
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lorien
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Re: Hobbit Movie

I understand what you are saying but to become the devil's advocate here, what if this very expensive undertaking had bombed and New Line had taken a big loss and it had been a fixed amount rather than a percentage, would everyone be returning money to bail them out of the loss? J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the books and did the work. The rest of the family inherited certain rights for being just his children. I agree, value should be given for value received. Did the Trust participate in some capacity in the making of the movie?

And what if the legal hassles became too complex (as I am afraid they might become in regards to The Hobbit) and they didn't undertake it at all? I recall from one of the "specials" on the DVD that most studios would only consider making a one-movie version ot the LOTR. Jackson felt he needed two movies. It was New Line that decided that what was needed was three movies. I only watched some of the extras on the extended DVD but this was an incredibly expensive enterprise.

I don't know the finally outcome but I believe New Line did not do well with The Golden Compass, and somewhere I thought I saw something about New Line now being absorbed into Warner so it exists no longer as an independent (and as such probably more artistically sensitive) enterprise. I will have to check on that, though.



oldBPLstackdenizen wrote:
I think perhaps one of the most important things to bear in mind in all this it that it seems that Mr.Tolkien himself stipulated the formation of this Trust, when he signed off on releasing the rights to the book - and he may have even done so with the understanding that 7.5% ( I think it was ) of the resulting profits were to go to this Trust ... ( and that his wishes should still be respected, even if he is no longer with us ) ---
I was always a little afraid that Middle-earth might someday becomed "owned" by some huge corporation like Disney and turned into just another big money making "Franchise" ---
New Line Cinema did an admirable job with translating the books into movie form -
but it would seem like it's past time for the company's management to "pay their dues" to the creator of these stories, who was generous enough to share with the world the figments of his imagination,
which have given joy to so many people ( and without any realization, on his part, that his creation might someday become a billion-dollar business ) and without whom, the movie company would never have been enjoying their billions of dollars to begin with.
Ardo Whortleberry
Tolkien Reader


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lorien
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Re: Hobbit Movie

[ Edited ]
Found it: March 13, 2008:

http://www.reuters.com/article/filmNews/idUSN1325230120080313

Nothing about the future of The Hobbit. :smileysad:

Message Edited by lorien on 03-14-2008 08:40 PM
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lmpmn
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Re: Hobbit Movie Warner absorbs New Line Cinema

I followed a couple of links after I read the link by lorien to reuters and found this:
 
 
It's titled: 29 February 2008 Goodbye New Line Cinema
Indie folded into Warner Bros
Source: Variety
 
This second link to Variety goes into more detail about everything and includes further info about The Hobbit.  You might wanna read that too.
Happiness is a warm blanket!
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JesseBC
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Re: Hobbit Movie

I can't reply to two messages at once, so I had to choose one, but I think you both have a point.

The details of this case are going to come down to the language of the contract and how the court interprets that contract.

It's the larger principle that's at stake. Who really benefits from tightening copyright law and extending the length of time before a work enters the public domain? What interpretation of the law will protect artists and allow art to flourish? At what point, does it just become all about the interests of publishers and producers trying to maintain a stranglehold on potential profits?

This question is going to be severely tested in the upcoming JK Rowling suit too.





lorien wrote:
I understand what you are saying but to become the devil's advocate here, what if this very expensive undertaking had bombed and New Line had taken a big loss and it had been a fixed amount rather than a percentage, would everyone be returning money to bail them out of the loss? J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the books and did the work. The rest of the family inherited certain rights for being just his children. I agree, value should be given for value received. Did the Trust participate in some capacity in the making of the movie?

And what if the legal hassles became too complex (as I am afraid they might become in regards to The Hobbit) and they didn't undertake it at all? I recall from one of the "specials" on the DVD that most studios would only consider making a one-movie version ot the LOTR. Jackson felt he needed two movies. It was New Line that decided that what was needed was three movies. I only watched some of the extras on the extended DVD but this was an incredibly expensive enterprise.

I don't know the finally outcome but I believe New Line did not do well with The Golden Compass, and somewhere I thought I saw something about New Line now being absorbed into Warner so it exists no longer as an independent (and as such probably more artistically sensitive) enterprise. I will have to check on that, though.



oldBPLstackdenizen wrote:
I think perhaps one of the most important things to bear in mind in all this it that it seems that Mr.Tolkien himself stipulated the formation of this Trust, when he signed off on releasing the rights to the book - and he may have even done so with the understanding that 7.5% ( I think it was ) of the resulting profits were to go to this Trust ... ( and that his wishes should still be respected, even if he is no longer with us ) ---
I was always a little afraid that Middle-earth might someday becomed "owned" by some huge corporation like Disney and turned into just another big money making "Franchise" ---
New Line Cinema did an admirable job with translating the books into movie form -
but it would seem like it's past time for the company's management to "pay their dues" to the creator of these stories, who was generous enough to share with the world the figments of his imagination,
which have given joy to so many people ( and without any realization, on his part, that his creation might someday become a billion-dollar business ) and without whom, the movie company would never have been enjoying their billions of dollars to begin with.
Ardo Whortleberry
Tolkien Reader





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BarbaraN
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Re: Hobbit Movie

JesseBC wrote:
I can't reply to two messages at once, so I had to choose one, but I think you both have a point.

The details of this case are going to come down to the language of the contract and how the court interprets that contract.

It's the larger principle that's at stake. Who really benefits from tightening copyright law and extending the length of time before a work enters the public domain? What interpretation of the law will protect artists and allow art to flourish? At what point, does it just become all about the interests of publishers and producers trying to maintain a stranglehold on potential profits?

This question is going to be severely tested in the upcoming JK Rowling suit too.
-----------------------------------------
Were not the copyright law at one time limited to a certain but very reasonable period in which the author had rights over his artistic property--like 35 years or something? Now they seem to be perpetual. I think an artist should have full rights and protection of their work but now it continues well beyond the intent of the law and lifetime of the artists.

And they seem to have lots of legal battles over even the use of a word from a work. Wasn't Rowling sued because some one claimed they had "invented" the word "muggle?"

Sometimes they are too tight. I'm not sure but maybe it is a copyright thing. It is strange that writers do not seem to be building stories based on Tolkien's created world. We are losing out on some potentially very fine stories of Middle-earth from talented writers.

A 7.5% return seem like a reasonable sum to me for Tolkien's children. I don't know how much the movies made but that comes to $75 million per billion! Add to that all the other returns they get from their father's work and they are not exactly starving. I would assume that Christopher owns his own work aside from this father's and deserves protection for that apart from the original.

Now that you bring this up, I am wondering if this is more about publishers wanting to maintain exclusive rights to a work and the Trust, Tolkien's children, are just a front to build sympathy for their case. In many people's mind "children" are the person and impression is given that it is the "deceased" artist that is being deprived of a rightful return on his work. This is a natural association. You may have fallen into this trap, Ardo:
--------------------------
New Line Cinema did an admirable job with translating the books into movie form -
but it would seem like it's past time for the company's management to "pay their dues" to the creator of these stories, who was generous enough to share with the world the figments of his imagination,
--------------------------
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JesseBC
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Re: Hobbit Movie

US copyright law has gotten so complicated that it's almost impossible to talk about it without legal assistance, but, yes, in general, an artist held the copyright until 50 years after his or her death (which was recently extended to 70 years), after which it's supposed to enter the public domain.

Which is why the Tolkien estate still has exclusive rights to The Hobbit. Technically, they could sue anybody who attempted an unauthorized derivative work (though some have gotten by using parody exemptions).

Copyright isn't perpetual, but trademark can be, so companies have been cashing in on trademarking some pretty insane things in order to collect on them forever (e.g. when Mickey Mouse was due to enter the public domain, Disney had him trademarked so they can sue the crap out of anybody who even appears to be using the Mouse Ears symbol).

But the Tolkien vs. New Line case is a contract dispute, not a copyright dispute. It raises those issues, but it comes down to the terms of the contract between the two parties.

So, in this instance, no, I don't think it raises the question of whether the Tolkien estate is just a front for corporate interests, but it's still a good question to ask.

The Rowling suits are a different story. The one you're referring to was the Stouffer case, which looked pretty suspicious. Stouffer had earlier published a series about a boy named "Larry Potter" and his friend "Lily" that included non-magical beings called "Muggles." But the stories were different enough (and Stouffer's behavior was sneaky enough) that the court dismissed the case.

But the upcoming case in which Rowling is suing Vander Ark over the Harry Potter lexicon could be a decisive case for copyright law since the determination could change the definition of what's considered a derivative work and which ones are exempted from copyright infringement.

Unfortunately, both the Tolkien and Rowling cases are being looked at in terms of who has lots of money and should therefore be generous, when, really, the court decisions could have tremendous impact on what artists are allowed to do and how much they're really protected.

Anybody interested in this stuff really needs to read Lawrence Lessig.






BarbaraN wrote:
JesseBC wrote:
I can't reply to two messages at once, so I had to choose one, but I think you both have a point.

The details of this case are going to come down to the language of the contract and how the court interprets that contract.

It's the larger principle that's at stake. Who really benefits from tightening copyright law and extending the length of time before a work enters the public domain? What interpretation of the law will protect artists and allow art to flourish? At what point, does it just become all about the interests of publishers and producers trying to maintain a stranglehold on potential profits?

This question is going to be severely tested in the upcoming JK Rowling suit too.
-----------------------------------------
Were not the copyright law at one time limited to a certain but very reasonable period in which the author had rights over his artistic property--like 35 years or something? Now they seem to be perpetual. I think an artist should have full rights and protection of their work but now it continues well beyond the intent of the law and lifetime of the artists.

And they seem to have lots of legal battles over even the use of a word from a work. Wasn't Rowling sued because some one claimed they had "invented" the word "muggle?"

Sometimes they are too tight. I'm not sure but maybe it is a copyright thing. It is strange that writers do not seem to be building stories based on Tolkien's created world. We are losing out on some potentially very fine stories of Middle-earth from talented writers.

A 7.5% return seem like a reasonable sum to me for Tolkien's children. I don't know how much the movies made but that comes to $75 million per billion! Add to that all the other returns they get from their father's work and they are not exactly starving. I would assume that Christopher owns his own work aside from this father's and deserves protection for that apart from the original.

Now that you bring this up, I am wondering if this is more about publishers wanting to maintain exclusive rights to a work and the Trust, Tolkien's children, are just a front to build sympathy for their case. In many people's mind "children" are the person and impression is given that it is the "deceased" artist that is being deprived of a rightful return on his work. This is a natural association. You may have fallen into this trap, Ardo:
--------------------------
New Line Cinema did an admirable job with translating the books into movie form -
but it would seem like it's past time for the company's management to "pay their dues" to the creator of these stories, who was generous enough to share with the world the figments of his imagination,
--------------------------


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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: Hobbit Movie

Good Afternoon lorien ( and Everyone ) ..
 
Firstly, I find it hard to figure out how the LOTR movies could have in ay way turned out to have been a failure
( and a money-losing proposition ).
Just considering the quality of the "base material" the movie makers had to work with - they really would have had to foul up it in a super-big way for the movies not to be at least some sort of nomimal success.
 
Secondly, it sounds like the contract was for 7.5% of the profits ( whatever they might turn out to be -small or large )  but the Tolkien Estate says they have not recieved ONE PENNY to date. Perhaps, if they had originally agreed to a "fixed amount" - and they HAD already recieved that amount, it is posssible they might not be complaining now. ---
It makes you really wonder what kind of shenanigans are going on up in the top corporate boardrooms of the
movie corporations that they feel like they can get away with something like this.
As Tolkien said in his Foreword to LOTR ( pertaining to the ACE paperback pirated versions of LOTR ) -
[ "...dealings one might expect of Saruman in his decay rather from the defenders of the West..."  ]
 
Thirdly, perhaps Tolkien's children did not participate in the process of the movie-making, but that hardly matters in this situation. This is not a fight over who has the "rights" to Middle-earth, so much, as simply as to whether the movie company is going to observe its obligations to  the contract.---
 I also don't think it is quite fair to say that JRRT wrote the books and the rest of the family only inherited certain rights for being just his children.  ( although that is true enough, on the face of it ). Much of the original material was initially written mainly FOR his children, to begin with - and Christopher Tolkien took an active part in "assisting" his father when LOTR was first published ( as with those elaborate, carefully constructed maps of Middle-earth ) and in the years since his father's death was involved in compiling and editing his notes so that we coulld have access to the Silmarillion and subsequent books.
 
At any rate, this all seems like mainly a "breach of contract". And, under the circumstances, it would seem as though the Tolkien Estate is doing the right thing in putting on the brakes to the "Hobbit Movie Express"- and it doesn't seem like they are just doing it out of spite. Why should they stay "nice guys" and wait to see if they are going to get paid after the "second time around" - after the new movies have grossed more billions of dollars- judging by the way they have thus far already been short-changed by the movie corporations?
It seems to me  more like a case of where the Movie Big-Wigs have held up the whole process themselves, by way of standing there with big bag of money ( that only resulted from being able to "use" Tolkien's creative genius - one could say, even being allowed to "exploit"  same ) without paying up on their promises. 
Of course nobody wants to have too many hold-ups and delays for the new movies. Everyone is anxious to see how it will turn out.
 
Ardo Whortleberry
Tolkien Reader
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

Ardo Whortleberry
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lorien
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Re: Hobbit Movie

Ardo wrote:
Secondly, it sounds like the contract was for 7.5% of the profits ( whatever they might turn out to be -small or large ) but the Tolkien Estate says they have not recieved ONE PENNY to date.
--------------------------------

I believe it is true that they are entitled to 7.5% of the profits as part of the estate. But I had not heard whether they had received their 7.5% of the profits. If they received it then they got their fair share. If they did not, they are clearly in the right. What I assumed was that possibly they are challenging the "bookkeeping" and that the percentage they got was based on something less than the actual profits. That would be a fair court challenge. But if they are asking for something more, I think that is beyond terms of the estate and they are using The Hobbit rights as leverage.

I have only glanced at this so I cannot be sure of anything I have said. My initial thinking was based on a reaction to an impression, not facts. Maybe later I will look for some facts.
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lorien
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Re: Hobbit Movie

Seems this story about suing New Line died a day or two after the first big flap around last February 12. I haven't been able to find anything later than that. All the articles are virtually the same with only the plaintive making a statement. I think what I wondered was why it took them six years to get around to suing and why just after The Hobbit was to go ahead.

As far as the Hobbit movie production is concerned, it seems to be moving forward.

http://www.theonering.net/torwp/category/hobbit/hobbit-movie/

What all the newspaper articles say:
----------------------
The suit, filed Monday, claims New Line was required to pay 7.5 percent of gross receipts to Tolkien's estate and other plaintiffs, who contend they only received an upfront payment of $62,500 for the three movies before production began.
....
Steven Maier, an attorney for the Tolkien estate based in Britain, said in a statement."New Line has not paid the plaintiffs even one penny of its contractual share of gross receipts despite the billions of dollars of gross revenue generated by these wildly successful motion pictures."




lorien wrote:
Ardo wrote:
Secondly, it sounds like the contract was for 7.5% of the profits ( whatever they might turn out to be -small or large ) but the Tolkien Estate says they have not recieved ONE PENNY to date.
--------------------------------

I believe it is true that they are entitled to 7.5% of the profits as part of the estate. But I had not heard whether they had received their 7.5% of the profits. If they received it then they got their fair share. If they did not, they are clearly in the right. What I assumed was that possibly they are challenging the "bookkeeping" and that the percentage they got was based on something less than the actual profits. That would be a fair court challenge. But if they are asking for something more, I think that is beyond terms of the estate and they are using The Hobbit rights as leverage.

I have only glanced at this so I cannot be sure of anything I have said. My initial thinking was based on a reaction to an impression, not facts. Maybe later I will look for some facts.

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lorien
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Re: Hobbit Movie

From OneRing:
The man himself, Guillermo del Toro, who may or may not be directing ‘The Hobbit’, has posted a very curious comment on our own message boards. Del Toro has mentioned recently at a New York convention that an announcement is imminent…decipher what you will from his post!
--------------------------

OK, folks! Any idea of what this Riddle means? I guess the state of the Hobbit movie is buried in here:
-----------------------

A riddle for you all-

Half familiar, half unknown.

A thing it is, ¨It almost is-¨

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.

The day of the moon will be
when all is revealed to thee
Questions will cease
Answers will please
We´ll learn of the Shire
and all you desire.

At ten minus Three.
Joining to be
Ten minus Eight
Add to the slate
of the two dozen princes
that die without winces.
And add to each day of
the week.
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: Hobbit Movie

Good Afternoon  ( Again ) ---
 I think I got a little too wound up in that last posting - and among all the other things I am not - I
ain't no lawyer either ( so I don't always know what I'm talking about ) - I've just realized, too, that in one of my earliest postings on this subject ( To The Prancing Pony, I believe ) I may have made a big blunder - when I asserted that the Tolkien Trust is a non-profit, officially registered as a "Charity" in the UK. ---
The Tolkien Society in the UK definitely IS so registered - but I may have gotten it all wrong as to the Trust. --- However, I think the Trust may have been involved in some very non-profit activities ( even if they weren't themselves specifically non-profit ) - I'll have to go back and check on all that stuff.
 
In a much lighter vein, and repeating a different letter that I had sent previously to The Prancing Pony,
where I mentioned that I often pictured the late Dudley Moore as a  good fit for the role of Bilbo ( in a movie version ) - And I wondered if anyone else had some "favorites" as to who would have made "the perfect Bilbo" ?
I think there's no way it can be played by anyone other than the actor who portrayed him in the Peter Jackson
LOTR movies ( whose name escapes me at the moment ) in the upcoming "Hobbit" movies - when and if they get made. ( as everyone might feel "cheated" if he was replaced by another actor - since this actor has already been accepted as being THE Bilbo - by his presence in the LOTR movies ) -
So, this is just another little "game " I'm just curious what other actors others may have pictured as being right for the role. I've just realized too, that there are several of my favorite British actors who I could see filling the role - right now, I'm thinking of Geoffrey Palmer
( "Lionel Hardcastle" from "As Time Goes By" - the mild-mannered "Britcom" ) and Michael Kitchen ( "Detective Chief Superintendent Foyle" from "Foyle's War" ) -  
 
Ardo
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
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Ardo Whortleberry
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: Hobbit Movie

lorien ---
 
I need to do more "fact checking" myself - but I seem to recall ( when reading the story shortly after it first came out - referred to the news story through the Book Club postings here ): that although the lawsuit has just been launched now - the Tolkien Estate claimed they had already been consistently making every kind of reasonable effort before this to recieve their allotted share from  New Line Cinema. If this is true, then it would not be like they were just "waiting around, twiddling their thumbs" until "The Hobbit" movie was about to be made, to speak up. Certainly, the start of the production of the new movies and their attempt to stop that production could give them a big "bargaining chip" in the talks - and they probably realized that - but I don't think its a case of their suddenly deciding to "whine" that they they were getting enough money. ---      Ardo   
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: Hobbit Movie

"...that they WEREN'T getting enough money..." I meant "WEREN'T", not "WERE" !!!!
I must be getting weary, Better sign off for today.         Ardo
 
 
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lorien
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Re: Hobbit Movie


oldBPLstackdenizen wrote:
lorien ---
I need to do more "fact checking" myself - but I seem to recall ( when reading the story shortly after it first came out - referred to the news story through the Book Club postings here ): that although the lawsuit has just been launched now - the Tolkien Estate claimed they had already been consistently making every kind of reasonable effort before this to recieve their allotted share from New Line Cinema. If this is true, then it would not be like they were just "waiting around, twiddling their thumbs" until "The Hobbit" movie was about to be made, to speak up. Certainly, the start of the production of the new movies and their attempt to stop that production could give them a big "bargaining chip" in the talks - and they probably realized that - but I don't think its a case of their suddenly deciding to "whine" that they they were getting enough money. --- Ardo





You are correct Ardo. That is what they said. You have an excellent memory:

"The Tolkien trustees do not file lawsuits lightly, and have tried unsuccessfully to resolve their claims out of court," Steven Maier, an attorney for the Tolkien estate based in Britain, said in a statement.
....
Lawyers for the plaintiffs said they have spent the years since the movies hit theaters trying to negotiate a settlement with New Line.
-------------------------------------------------

But if it had been me, I think I would have given up on the polite overtures after a couple of years and would have sued them much sooner. Especially if they had not even given me a "penny". I still have not found anything on the outcome of this case. Still there has been several suits against New Line, so I'm sure there is some funny business in the books. They should have least have paid them something even it were understated profits.

Putting the shoe on the other foot, if I were the film company, I would settle fast. This suit will cost them a lot of money because they have started to go ahead and even a long but eventually won suit would cost them more money than it is worth. But no one seems to concerned. They are going ahead. I suspect some back room negotiating is already going on.

I did find this more recent article:
----------------------------------------------
Daily News Friday, March 28, 2008

Perils facing filmmakers adapting a book into a film exist if they do not ensure that they have all the necessary rights needed, as disputes can arise over the terms of a licensing arrangement, warns Lloyd's.

Currently, New Line Cinema — the company behind the Lord of the Rings — is facing a lawsuit over the alleged failure to pay out a percentage of profits to J.R.R. Tolkien's estate.

If the Tolkien Trust is successful in seeking compensatory damages, it would have the power to block plans for the creation of further films based onto Tolkien works — including the long-awaited The Hobbit.

"If book authors are successful in suing film makers, it could change the filming schedule already outlined by the producers," Turul Brown, scheme director of Lloyd's broker IMS film insurance, said in the release. "This could ultimately mean an interruption in pre-production and could lead to postponement or cancellation of locations and studios, re-booking crew and actors and depending on what agreements they had in place, possible claims being made due to the budget already being spent on these areas to secure these key personnel and sites."

The cover that would typically protect against this is Film Producer's Indemnity, he noted.
"The second problem for film companies is that if an early settlement cannot be reached between the parties, the legal wrangling could be extended," he added.
Frequent Contributor
oldBPLstackdenizen
Posts: 633
Registered: ‎12-19-2007
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Re: Hobbit Movie

Good Afternoon, lorien ---
 
This just in ---
New Line has just summarily dismissed Peter Jackson ( and his crew ) from producing "The Hobbit" and LOTR "prequel" movies. If you want to read all the details, there is a letter from Jackson at the "onering.net" site. ---
This all comes out of New Line extreme willingness to "Take the money and run" all along.---
In spite of all my grumblings about the "Peter Jackson Version" ( of LOTR ) it's hard to imagine who could have done a better job with "The Hobbit" and "Hobbit 2". ---
I'm assuming this means no Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf ( what, no Gandalf to play Gandalf? ) ---
 and no Ian Holm ( who I think palyed Bilbo in LOTR ) as Bilbo, after all ...
 
In spite of not being a lawyer, I have been looking into the actual Complaint of the Plaintiffs in the
"Tolkien's Heirs versus New Line" Case.
Here's what I can tell you. ---
There is a Charitable Trust that is a "Tolkien Trust".
There is also a "regular" Trust that is a "Tolkien Trust".
The Tolkien children ( and grandchildren, I think ) are suing on behalf of BOTH of these.
There are three Publishers joining forces with the Tolkien Estate in the suit.
( Harper Collins , Unwin Hyman, and Allen & Unwin - all out of the UK ) ---
 
The proposed damages estimate: 150 Million.
( which, it seems to me, after it has been divided amongst all the plaintiffs and their lawyers, etc. is not going to make any of them super-fabulously wealthy - especially considering the super-high tax rates in
the UK on any kind of royalties. I suppose they could get around this by putting most of the money in the non-profit Charitable Trust, but that wouldn't make any one of them super-millionaires. )
 
I was gratified to find in the language of the "Opening Statement" of the Complaint of the Plaintiffs,
pretty much some of the same sentiments and arguments I had been making in some of my own humble little letters to the Book Club.
 As far as to why the Estate didn't act more forcefully earlier, I can only say that it is possible that they were not even completely aware of just how much New Line had been lying to them and hiding figures from them until more recently - and anyway, I still think they are a more decent sort of people than their opponents in this situation, do not really have any "ulterior motives" - and have only taken this recourse as a last resort.
 
Yours Respectfully,
Ardo Whortleberry
( of the  Whortleberry, Boffin. Baggins and Bracegirdle Firm )
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

Ardo Whortleberry
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